Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop is slated to visit Iran as the first senior Australian governmental official to do so in more than a decade, the Australian news agency Sydney Morning Herald reported.
According to the news agency, the trip is being regarded as a potential game-changer in the fight against the terrorist group ISIL, but it could also lead to profitable economic opportunities for both countries.
Bishop’s visit comes as response to an invitation by her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The Australian Foreign Minister's trip to Iran will take place in April, less than two months before the US and Iran reach a self-imposed deadline for a comprehensive nuclear energy deal.
There are other legs to Bishop’s Middle East tour, the places she’ll visit are likely to include Baghdad and the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh.
The last Australian foreign affairs minister to visit Tehran was Alexander Downer in 2003.
Australia has maintained diplomatic relations with Tehran, positioning this country well if a peaceful nuclear energy industry is agreed on and harsh trade sanctions are lifted.